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  1. Hey! If anyone has any questions regarding PA school or their application please don't hesitate to let me know! I applied to 9 schools, got accepted to 1, waitlisted at 4 schools and denied to 4 schools. When I was applying there were not many resources to find other students who were accepted with low GPAs to see what they have done, so I just want to help out as much as possible. This is a very stressful part of an individual's life and having someone to relate to can definitely help out. If anyone feels uncomfortable commenting their questions on here or need a super fast response, feel free to message me on my instagram as well: Naisphan Right now, I'm a volunteer pre-pa mentor for two community colleges in my neighborhood. I don't want to make this a super long post but a quick overview of my statistics: cGPA: 3.1 sGPA: 3.01 Last 60 credit hours: 3.8 PCE: 2600 HCE: 1500 Shadowing Hours: 144 GRE: Did not take There is so so so much more than just the numbers. I really mean that. I have spoken with a whole bunch of PA admissions committee members directly at multiple schools about my application and also what they're looking for in potential applicants. I've also spoken to many students and pre-pa mentors as well to help me throughout the process. With my low GPA, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to make it into school but with the help of my mentors I was able to craft a great application. Don't be discouraged at all, there are so many things to do to make your application much better!!! It really is a holistic application and as long as you reach the minimums, anything is possible from there. Again, AMA either here or on my instagram page!!!
  2. Hey Everyone, I'm sure this topic has been beaten to death, but I'm looking for some advice. My current stats are: cGPA - 2.96 sGPA - 3.16 Last 50 Credits - 3.84 PCE - 4000+ Hrs My AnP 1 and 2 grades are both B- from undergrad, when I didn't know what I was doing with my life. I'm wondering if I should point my energy towards retaking these two courses for A's or should I pursue a Master's program? Thanks for all your help, really appreciate it.
  3. I know there are a lot of threads on this topic already, but I decided to share this for those who don't have the best stats but truly want to be PAs. I just got accepted this 2015-2016 cycle, and I'll be starting PA school in the fall! It can be done, but you have to work extra hard to prove that you really have what it takes. Undergrad Major: Biology CASPA CGPA (undergrad): 2.80 CASPA SGPA: 2.97 Post-Baccalaureate: 4.0 (17 credits) GRE: 149V, 153Q, 4.0A LORs: 3 MDs, 1 PA Age: 29 Attempt: 1st HCE: Approximately 6000 (paid, volunteer, etc) Shadowing: MDs, PAs, 1 NP Applied: 10 + schools too many to list Interview invitations: 5 (declined 1) Acceptances: 2 Waitlisted: 1 Denied: Who cares? Nobody likes rejection, but you simply can't win them all. If you're meant to be a PA, you'll become one. It took me 4 years to prepare and apply, and I got in on my first attempt. This is not something you can rush; shadow PAs, take health/science classes, help your community, be very familiar with the profession, and most importantly: do it for the right reasons. Be honest, genuine, and enjoy the process. If they say no, someone will see in you what others don't. However, you also have to be realistic; if you can't honestly explain why your grades are low, why they should pick you vs. a 4.0 applicant, and why you really want to be a PA, then you're not ready. Take your time, explore other professions.. stay motivated!
  4. Hello! I graduated from MSU with a Human Biology Major in Winter 2015. It has been about 3 years since i have graduated. I studied the MCAT and took the test once and did not apply to any med school because of my MCAT score and GPA. i have a GPA 3.0 and not sure about my science gpa about 2.7-2.9 I just got married this summer and have been rethinking about med school and wanted to go to PA school instead It seems as competitive as med school but it is only 2 years of school. I don't have ANY direct paid health care experience only volunteering and haven't taken the GRE yet I am 25 years old and just need some help/guidance on the path. so my questions are: 1.) Should i go to graduate school for 2 years and get good grades to make up for my low GPA 2.) Should i just get as much PCE as i can? and then apply ? if so, which is better? CNA, MA, paramedic, EMT ? 3.) Lastly, should get certified to work as a CNA, MA, paramedic or EMT first, and then work while i go to grad school so i can get PCE and boost my GPA? i don't know where to start because I'm trying to find the most affordable and less time consuming way to be competitive to get into PA school Thank you
  5. Second time, older applicant looking to reapply this coming cycle -- CASPA verified early this past cycle with low GPA (2.93) and outstanding prereqs, which led to 5 app submissions and prompt rejections. Hoping that I've improved, but still looking for advice on how I can try to standout being on the low GPA end of things and thoughts on retaking the GRE! Undergrad Degree (2008): BS in Comm Studies & Rhetoric PostBacc (2016-2019) cGPA: 3.3 (undergrad, 3.3) sGPA: currently 3.13 (undergrad, 2.63) -- if I get an A in Immunology (3 credits) this coming Spring, I will have a sGPA of 3.18; if I take 4 credits and get an A, I will have a 3.2 Post-Bacc GPA: 3.6 Disclosure: DUI conviction 10 yrs ago Pre-req courses: Biostats: B- Psych: A Bio1: A Bio2: A A&P1: B- Gen Chem1: C+ (W from 5 yrs ago when I enrolled and dropped) Gen Chem2: C+ A&P2: A- BioChem: A MicroBio: A Genetics: A- Pending Immunology course this Spring GRE: 306, V158--Q148--W3.5 LoRs: 2 oncology attendings/primary investigators; 1 PA; 1 NP; 1 academic letter -- bio prof Hours: PCE: By the time I apply, 7074 hrs (8 yrs clinical research coordinator, CRC, in oncology clinical research) HCE: 7074 hrs (8 yrs clinical research associate, CRA, in oncology clinical research) Research: 1572 hrs Volunteer: 50 hrs, helping at a homeless clinic since Jan 2018 PA shadowing: 28 hrs surgical oncology and pediatric oncology I split my hours as 45% PCE/45% HCE /10% Research CRC - in the clinic w/patients (interviewing pts about PMH, one-on-one pt research interviews regarding Quality of Life, discussing & outlining the patient's course of treatment on vs. off-protocol, discussing the goals and medical implications of participating and answering questions about treatment, recruitment, and screening & assessing patient toxicities in clinic with physicians/PAs and through chart reviews, etc) CRA - clerical in regards to submitting necessary safety paperwork, chart reviews for tox assessments, scheduling patient appts, ordering necessary protocol labs and scans, data collection and entry, editing the research protocol, audit preparation, etc. Research - time spent more specifically pulling, sorting, and analyzing data for publications, mtgs with the stats team, MDs, etc.
  6. Hey guys, My name is Logan and I am a new first year at the University of Florida. It wasn't long ago at all that I was sitting where you are sitting, knee deep in the application journey for PA school. I have compiled a list of things which opened my eyes to the application process after having been through it twice, as well as things I wish I had known going into the process which I think would've helped me be better prepared. A little background on me-- I got my degree in Athletic Training at Nova Southeastern University in Florida, where I was SUPER involved in extracurriculars and leadership positions (multiple leadership positions in my fraternity, ATSO, Order of Omega, Up 'Til Dawn, research, etc) plus employed on campus. Because I was so involved, my grades suffered and I ended up graduating with a 3.4 cumulative GPA and a 3.28 science GPA... Not great. Through my undergrad being in a medical field, I also had a bunch of rotation hours to list on my resume. Immediately after graduation I had a bit of an identity crisis not knowing fully yet what I wanted to do "when I grew up", I went straight into paramedic school to gain added experience and buy time to figure out my future. I applied to the CASPA for the first time in 2015 straight out of medic school and, as you probably picked up, didn't get in. As a matter of fact, I didn't even get an interview... anywhere. Devastated, I decided to get a change of pace and uprooted my life to transplant somewhere else and busted ass working. I also identified that a couple of my science classes were a weak spot on my application, so I re-took them. I took a year off from applying and in 2017 I applied to 12 schools, was extended an interview at 9, and accepted at 6. Here is my list of things I have picked up along the way, and tips for you moving forward. When Applying: Apply Early!!! I know everyone says this but trust me, if you can beat the crowd, even if your application is meh, you may still be a shining star out of the small percentage to take this advice. Your chances of getting an interview is significantly higher the earlier you apply, especially if the program has rolling admissions. Get your application busted out literally as soon as possible, spend a short time reviewing everything, and start submitting them quick. If you are reading this now (posted at the end of June) and you haven't started submitting (or are close to submitting save for some last minute tweaking) yet, you are behind the ball. Get on it!! Apply Everywhere Make a list of literally every school (in the WHOLE US) you qualify for by the minimum standards (GPA, GRE scores, Class Prereqs). Yes, this is time intensive but there are books that can help you outline each program and their requirements. Once you have the expansive list of programs which you could theoretically get in to, cross out the ones which you would not accept even if you were given an acceptance. For me, it was anywhere with too cold of a winter (true southerner and have been in Florida for the last 9 years... 60 is chilly for me, lol). Keep narrowing your list till you get to between 10 and 15 schools. Obviously if you are a perfect applicant with a 4.0 GPA, incredible GRE scores, tons of patient contact, and a resume a mile long with achievements; you can have a shorter list... but since most people reading this don't have the "perfect" application, it is better to cast the net wide. Also- Just because a school says it will accept outstanding prereqs, doesn't mean in reality it will. Why should they take 1 incomplete package when they have thousands of others who offer the total package. Save your money and keep looking. Once you decide what schools you are applying to, make a folder on your computer dedicated to just that school. ex- "PA School Applications" > "University of Florida". Inside that folder, have every document pertaining to that school you can get. Any pertinent research you stumble across, all your essays, a copy of your supplemental application, etc.... You will be happy you did that when it is time to research for your interview. Save Up Money It is incredible how expensive the application process is, and not something I expected when I initially applied. The CASPA applications are expensive, especially for as many schools as you should be applying to. Then you have to worry about Secondary applications. Then when you start getting interview invites you need to pay for travel and the hotel, plus food, etc. It all adds up quick, especially if you have multiple interviews back to back in different states. Plan for it financially and it will be a HUGE weight off your shoulders when the time comes. Assuming you get in somewhere, then you have the seat deposit which is usually between $500 and $1000 - some more, some less. Make Sure Your Application is "Perfect" Before Submitting Every applicant gets the same baseline question... "Why Do You Want to be a PA". Every applicant is going to have a lot of (boring) similarities in their answer which the AdComm is going to read THOUSANDS of times before the cycle closes. Don't waste your one shot at giving them a glimpse into your personality and a reason to admit you. Show your passion for the profession without being cliche and highlight your achievements without sounding cocky or pretentious. PEER REVIEW THE HELL OUT OF IT. Like literally send it to all your friends who can write well. Send it to your high school or college lit professors. Send it to your career services department. Legitimately send it to anyone who will read it and give you honest feedback. Tell them to rip it apart grammatically, and offer them the option to tell you it sucks or put them to sleep. Kick your feelings and pride out the door for this one, if your essay sucks, you will not get an interview anywhere. Period. Once you have your essay as perfect as you think you can get it, hire a service to review it. I used myPAresource.com for my personal statement which was an incredible resource for the personal statement only. The give you line by line suggestions and edits and are ridiculously thorough. Once I got that back and had the rest of my application completed (all the other tabs on CASPA) I used www.mypatraining.com/applying-pa-school-coaching/ to have Paul rip apart the rest of my application to tweak the other parts (the little details you may have overlooked which could damage the overall application). Both services cost money, but were 10,000,000,000,000% worth it in my opinion. It is an investment in your future -- can you really afford to re-apply (again), and also miss out on another year of PA-C pay? Be Smart About Your References!!! A phenomenal recommendation from a PA-C in a small clinic in a town no one has ever heard of, who you have known for 8 years, ALWAYS trumps a mediocre recommendation from a big name in medicine who doesn't really know you well at all. The recommendation letters are a MAJOR factor in the AdComm's decision making process, and I had my letters mentioned in almost every interview I went to. Pick your people wisely, it really does make all the difference in the world. Pick people who know you well, have history working with you, and who think highly of you. Get Experience Get lots of it. Everywhere you can. Volunteering is YUUUGGEEEE in applications. if you have a lot of it, you will stand out. Do something where you are actually putting hands on patients. Looks better on paper and also helps build your bedside manor. EMT / CNA / Surgical Tech, etc are all great experiences (and extremely easy / short classes). Being a scribe is ookkkkkaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy... but doesn't actually place any responsibility on you except being the provider's lap dog. Once Your Applications Are Submitted: Take a breath, but don't stop being great! The most labor intensive part of applying is done. Now it is just the waiting game which is killer. Use this time to keep bettering your application. Put in OT at work, Volunteer regularly, Re-take classes, etc. Most programs predict your future hour calculations based on the numbers you provide in your applications. You can go back in and add new experiences to your CASPA applications which some programs care about, others don't. When you do major things, shoot the point of contact for the program an e-mail or call the program to update them. Each program gets several thousands of applicants each cycle and although they wish they had a warehouse of people working around the clock to filter through applications and answer questions, most of the time it is just a few people doing everything. DON'T BUG THEM. Imagine if you had 3,000 people constantly e-mailing you and calling you at work... you'd never get anything done... don't be "that guy". Only update for the major things, and save the rest for the interview. DON'T BASE YOUR TIMELINE OFF ANYONE ELSE!!!! This forum is great for getting information... and also for causing anxiety attacks. I applied to UF within the first few weeks of the application being open and interviewed in one of the last groups and was almost immediately accepted following the interview. Don't lose hope till you get that e-mail or letter saying "thank you for applying but kick rocks". Time doesn't always equate to standing in their system. Make sure your contact information on CASPA is correct ***AND PROFESSIONAL****. Should go without saying but having inappropriate e-mails or voicemails may be funny in high school, the person trying to contact you for an interview may not find them as funny. You Get Called for an Interview!! Congrats!! It seems like a dream at first and that euphoric feeling proves all your hard work to that point is worth it. Do your happy dance then get back to business, this is where the intensive work begins. RESEARCH THE SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't put enough emphasis on this. Research the school so well that you and the Dean over the medical programs are practically on a first name basis. Every program has a website where they usually list their achievements, their scores, their faculty / staff, etc. Commit it all to memory. Make a Microsoft Word document dedicated to facts about the school and save it in the folder I mentioned earlier. Include pictures of the faculty and a short bio or things to take notice of. It is okay to creep a little bit (not like looking in their windows, etc)-- but like google their names, get on their Linked-In accounts. Get on the program's Social Media account and creep on that. Look for pictures and clues about the program, its goals and culture, and also about the students and what they are into. What is the mission statement? Does the program do medical missions? To where? Is the program big in the community? Do the students seem like a close knit bunch having a blast or are they indifferent to being there? How involved outside of the classroom are the professors? etc... You can gain a TON of insight by doing a google search of the program and by looking on the program's social media. Use this site and others to figure out what style of interview you are walking into. MMI / Panel / 1 on 1 / Group are all vastly interview styles and require a different preparation. Most of them have a group interview where you are tasked with solving a problem or working as a team on an exercise. Do yourself a favor and stand in the middle of the extremes on this one. This is an exercise to see if you can work and blend in a group setting... Be too aggressive (not knowing when to shut up / interrupting people) and you will be rated as bad as the person who doesn't really contribute anything to the group. Research Yourself!! Intimately know what is on your application and what is on your resume. You are going to get questions drawn directly from your application and resume... be able to recite the major numbers and have the important details readily available. One of the things I goofed pretty bad on in one of my interviews was not reviewing the independent research I had done Freshman and Sophomore year of undergrad... so like 5 years prior to the interview. It was on my application so it was fair game, and when asked about the more intricacies of the study, I blanked... not a good thing to do when sitting in front of the medical director for the program. Re-read your essay and supplemental apps. You may think you know your application pretty well but if you are not fresh on how you phrase things, etc, you may contradict yourself to the person with your essay literally in front of them. Make Smart Travel Plans Murphy's Law is a real thing and is no fun to try to come back from. I suggest always travelling a day in advanced to avoid any last-minute headaches. I was scheduled for an afternoon group on one of my interviews so I figured I would just fly in on the morning of and have like 6 hours to kill before my interview. Save money and time, right?... nope. My 6am flight was delayed due to mechanical failure until 1pm, putting me in the city at 3:30, 30 minutes after my interview was supposed to be. #Stress. It ended up working out okay, the program was understanding and that was one of the programs I ended up getting into... but if you can avoid that situation, save yourself the grey hairs. Go to bed early the night before and try to get good rest. Eat a balanced meal for dinner -- nothing too heavy or greasy. Day of the interview: The Motto of the Day is Calm / Cool / Collected If you let your anxiety get the better of you, you are 100% guaranteed to fail. Breathe... your preparation has done you well. The Morning of the Interview Wake up EARLY... like whatever time you need to get ready and get to the interview site on time (15 - 30 minutes early), wake up an hour before that. Remove any possibility of having to be rushed and your day will start off on the right foot. Eat a [LIGHT] breakfast. This is the food which will be keeping you awake and happy when meeting people, but should not have you in the bathroom every 20 minutes. My usual breakfast was a small amount of scrambled eggs, a small piece of protein (bacon or sausage), toast, and fruit, with water or juice to drink. Avoid dairy or anything too acidic (coffee or orange juice) if you think that will mess up your already anxious stomach. Leave Your Phone in the Car!!! Even checking your phone during the day can indicate boredom or that you are uninterested... appearances are EVERYTHING. If you rest your head, close your eyes, or even glance at your phone you can rest assured that you are on someone's radar for the wrong reasons. When You Get to Campus Everything, I mean EVERYTHING is scrutinized from the moment you get on campus. Your driving through campus to your destination should be impeccable and the second you're out of your vehicle pretend you're on youtube to be watched by the faculty later. Smile and and be literally as friendly as possible without appearing fake. Every interaction is fair game for scrutiny- from the "Good Morning" to the janitor to the conversations with "random" students on campus or your peers... it is all being watched. I know some programs plant people (like cleaning staff, and "random" students) in your path to see how you react around them. I know of other schools who have hidden cameras set up to watch applicants when they are mingling on campus. From the moment you get on campus till the moment you are at home, assume you are being watched and judged. Any "down time" should be spent talking and networking. Get to know your competition, they may soon be your classmates; plus it shows that you are comfortable within a group setting. Also usually helps ease your nerves to be social within a group experiencing the same anxiety you are. During the Interview Have fun with it. You have worked hard to get where you are and this is your chance to shine! Any interview blog you read (and I'm sure you have read most of them to this point) will tell you that body language is BIG... If you are having fun and are relaxed, your body language will show it. Confident but Humble is the name of the game. Own your past mistakes with dignity and be ready to give reasons why they should look past them and see you in a better light Enter the room and greet everyone individually. Firm handshake, eye contact, and a smile. If you know everyone's name that is a big win and can work in your advantage... but if you don't know EVERYONE by name or think you may call someone the wrong name, don't attempt. Make sure to have a couple copies of your resume readily available with you. Most schools wont need or even request it, but it shows you are prepared if you can offer it or produce it on demand. DON'T GET FLUSTERED!!! Some interviewers will ask you questions to try to get under your skin or try to throw you off your game to see how you will react. It is okay to take a moment and think and breathe... they are looking to see you under pressure. Focus on what they are asking and move forward. I once had an interviewer straight up say " I don't think you belong in this program, nothing about you impresses me" as the first thing when I got in the room... She was looking to see how I responded. Don't let anyone get under your skin and maintain your composure... you can breakdown and analyze once the interview is over and you're at home. When You Leave the Interview Make a mental note about your overall impression of the program, staff, and school... if you didn't get a positive vibe, that will come in to play if you get in to multiple programs. You need to go where feels like "home" because for the next 2- 2.5 years, it will be. Realistically speaking, most people don't get into the first school they interview at because they are walking into it not knowing what to expect and are visibly anxious. Prepare for that ahead of time by doing practice interviews and by getting comfortable talking to strangers and you will be ahead of the curve. Everyone says to send "thank you" e-mails... I disagree with their logic... If there are 200 people who interview at a program, every faculty member who interviews will have 200+ emails all saying the same thing "Thank you for taking the time ...............". I personally would get tired of even opening all those emails, so I didn't send them for the most part. The few that I did send I never got a response back from, which just reaffirmed my theory. Better practice would be (if you have time) to stop by their office at some point either later that day or in the following couple days and thank them in person. That opens the door for a more casual conversation and is more genuine, plus in my experience it went over better in general. Last Words of Advice: If you get in to a school early but it isn't your #1... please dear god put the seat deposit down anyway. That means you can breathe a little easier and are for sure going SOMEWHERE for the following year. Don't hold out for your #1 because you are optimistic and not wanting to possibly eat the money. Again... investment in your future. If you are rejected from a program before the interview, it is okay to ask why and try to get them to reconsider their reason if it is bogus. That shows balls, and also commitment to their program. One of the schools I was accepted to initially rejected me saying they wanted all of the anatomy classes from the same university ( I had 1 formal course from Nova along with a ton of other anatomy-based courses, plus 1 formal course from medic school, and another formal course from a community college from the year after I moved). I popped an e-mail back explaining my situation, the program director sided with me and I was immediately granted an interview. If you get rejected after the interview, some schools will offer advice (if asked) on how to improve for the following year... take them up on that offer!!! Programs LOVE repeat applicants, ESPECIALLY if they see significant improvement from the previous application. Lastly, if you get totally rejected and have to reapply, welcome to the club. The majority of successful applicants have that sobering experience and are accepted the next time around. Don't get discouraged, become inspired. Hopefully at least some of you found this list helpful, I know I could've used some of that when I was applying and stressing out. Don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions! Good Luck and Go Gators!! :) Logan
  7. I have a very low GPA cGPA: ~3.3ish sGPA: ~ 3.2ish I am almost done with all my classes and beside planning to retake chem 1 and 2 that I got a C's in, I am not planning to go for post-bac program. My question is, with my low GPA, how many PCE/HCE/volunteer hours and GRE that I need to get to be consider as a competitive applicant? I am planning to apply to PA school in 2020 cycle (although I really want to apply next cycle)
  8. I have a low GPA but everything else in my resume I feel is strong. I have many volunteering hours in health care expo, food bank, respite centers, school events, community events. I have shadowing hours. I have been a scribe in the ER for 2 years. I did research as an undergrad. I am pending my CPR certification. What are the odds I will get in the first time? I am doing by best to strengthen everything else to make up for my low but above 3.2 GPA. Due to financial difficulty I can only afford to apply to 4 schools. I want do 3 in Texas and one out. What are the odds for me in my case and what else can I do to seem more competitive? I am taking two other classes right now to pick up my GPA. I graduated with BS 2015.
  9. I am currently a junior in undergrad and will be applying to PA school (probably) in 2 maybe 3 years. I have a bad past as I entered college not knowing what I wanted to do, and only took 3 science classes and have two FW’s and a C. So since then I’ve transferred and done better at university. However if you’re looking at my overall cumulative which caspa will do it is still low because i got my associates with mostly C’s. Now I’ve shadowed, know exactly what I want to do, and actually study and put in effort. I admit I really screwed up at the beginning. My question is looking for PA schools that take an upward trend into consideration. I calculated my science gpa and by time i took 11 more classes (mostly prerequisites, i could possibly has a 3.0-3.2 science gpa. This is just the minimum and what I’m looking for is advice on what others have experienced and what schools to look into. I have heard many success stories about people who turned it around and did great. I’m just extremely nervous for myself as this is something I want so badly now. I’ll have hce also but what I’m mostly asking for is: 1. List of PA schools that look at upward trend. 2. Have you experienced this and what school, how many did you apply to, etc. anything that will help give me hope during this time! Thank you!
  10. I wanted to put my (shortened) story out there and stats to see what everyone's opinion or feedback might be for reapplying the 2nd time. Last cycle I applied to 7 programs in California, Oregon and Washington which have all rejected me, no interviews. It obviously left me feeling a little hopeless and wondering if I should pick a different healthcare path. However, like many of you I'm sure, I realized that nothing worth having comes without a fight and that becoming a PA is undeniably my life goal. My overall GPA is 3.07, just grazing the minimum for most programs. It's the weakest point of my application, I'm sure. My post bac science GPA is 3.43, which I'm proud of and reflects the upward trend of my grades after not taking my undergraduate seriously at times. GRE scores are 155 quant, 159 verbal, and 4.5 analytical. I had previously taken the GRE and received a 144 in quant, I'm hoping admissions will see that I was able to improve my quant score significantly and that it will speak to my academic abilities and perseverance. I have 4000 hours of PCE working as a PT aide, and have recently switched to a medical scribe job at a Stanford Health Care affiliated Pediatrics clinic. My healthcare related volunteer hours are limited. 3 LOR's from my microbiology professor, a physical therapist I worked closely with, and a PA that I shadowed. Another note: I submitted my applications at the end of September for all programs My game plan and questions for you guys: 1. The medical scribe job - I'm not sure if I should keep this job or switch to something more hands on such as a CNA, MA or even a patient care technician job at a dialysis center. I feel that my ability to learn new things and face challenges is beginning to plateau as a scribe, however since I have 4000 hours of PCE as a PT Aide would it be strategically smart to invest time and money into CNA or MA training? 2. Medical mission trip - Since I have a low GPA, I know it's crucial to make other areas of my application shine like a star. I'm thinking a 2 week trip to an underserved country would bolster my volunteer hours and also serve inspiration for my personal statement. It's also something I'm able to arrange and do in a short amount of time, which leads me to my next point... 3. APPLY EARLY - I plan to have applications submitted by late May. Does anyone think this is too early, or is there any other guidance on best times to submit applications? 4. Revamping my personal statement - I reached out to an online editing service specifically for PA programs and received truly useful feedback and suggestions. I plan to make edits and add in sections reflecting my time as a scribe and my determination as a re-applicant. 5. Updating some LORs - Hoping to receive a letter from the doctor I scribe for. I also plan to write a cover letter to recap my prior experiences and relationships with the LOR writers, as well as adding updated information as a re-applicant. With such a low cumulative GPA I'm terrified that perhaps PA school just won't work out for me. I'm hoping, however, that AdComs will really see how much I want this as reflected in my PCE, volunteer hours, personal statement and LOR's. Thanks so much for lending the time to read this, I am grateful for ANY insight/advice/comments anyone has :)
  11. Hi guys, last year 2017, I applied to 4 schools out on a whim. I really wanted to apply to more but I decided to apply so late (September/October). By then, most schools were almost out of seats. My gpa is also not the best however I do have 3K+ HCE, about 70hrs shadowing experience (shadowed 3 PAs), planning on shadowing another, solid recommendation letters but I am working on my re-doing my essay now. Do you think I have any chance of getting into PA school? Also what are some schools that mainly focus on experiences/hce? How else can I improve my application? I am super nervous. Also, took gen chem in 2012 Fall. Didn't do too well, retook it later, got a better grade. Will schools still count the 2012 grade even though its been over 5 years? Thanks in advance!
  12. Hi there! Looking for advice on if I have a chance at PA school, also recommended schools to apply. Biggest problem is low GPA. Here is a summary of my background. New to this forum, thanks in advance for your feedback: BS Biology-3.2 GPA with two Fs and a D (ouch!! had some tragic life circumstances and made poor choices not to withdraw), graduated 2010 GRE: verbal-156 (73rd percentile) / quant-155 (59th percentile) / analytical writing-4.0 (60th percentile) Returned Peace Corps Volunteer with 4,000 volunteer hours of health and education service HCE hours: 1200 as a clinical tech, direct patient care MPH from Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University (top-tier school), graduate in May of this year, current GPA is 3.8 (big change from undergrad!) Plan is to take A&P 1 and 2 this Fall and next Spring and start applying next Spring (2019). Over the next year, after I graduate, I also hope to get over 100 hours of PA shadowing. Additional info: research experience with the CDC, UNICEF, and The Carter Center (all public health related , but not clinical). Switching to PA because I have learned in grad school that I prefer to have direct contact with patients, public health is too behind the scenes, too much desk work, I need an active job helping people where I can see the impact on the patients I help, instead of seeing it in the epi trend lines. :)
  13. Hello everyone! I've recently been looking into PA as a potential career. But from what I've read so far, I'm a bit nervous. I have a BS in Electrical Engineering with a 3.0 GPA, and I don't know what my science GPA is, but it's probably lower. Engineers don't typically have upward grade trends as they progress, and I was no exception. I got an A in General Chem I, but I got a C in General Chem II. So I have a few questions: 1. Do admissions committees take into account the difficulty of one's major? 2. I take it that while they'll look at my science GPA, they'll care more about how I did in anatomy than in digital circuits? 3. If I were to go into PA, I'd head to community college and get EMT-P certified and try to work for a year. Would that get me enough HCE? 4. If for some reason I can't handle the stresses of paramedic work, I take it that I can take the certification and apply it else where? What would be the next best thing? That's all I have for now! Thank you all ahead of time for your answers!
  14. Hello All, I am relatively new to the pre-PA profession but after a lot of soul searching, I am going to apply again to schools this year. Last year, I only applied to 5 schools. I need help deciding what to do between now and application time. I know there's only a few months left before CASPA opens, but any help is appreciated. Here are some stats about me: Undergrad GPA Overall: 2.5 Science: 2.4 MPH GPA Overall: 3.8 Science classes (2): 4.0 Post-bacc GPA (1 year): Overal: 3.85 Science: 4.0 (got a B in calculus) Misc: Took sociology online (A), anatomy and physio for my masters online (A), and taking psychology this semester online (hopefully get an A). Critique my plan please: I had no luck last cycle, a 310 composite GPA and a 6/6 on the writing portion, 1000+ PCE, working in biotech now (pays well so not sure if I need to switch jobs for more PCE, would rather work on weekends in PCE if possible), 2000+ HCE Plan: Apply earlier this time for sure. Applied in October last time My undergrad gpa had so many credits from me not passing classes, hence the MPH (which I love the subject but quickly found it is not a lucrative career to pay back student loans) and post bacc Retaking psychology online Hopefully taking micro online for the first time Maybe taking ochem/biochem online again Stats for pre reqs: Gen chem (A), bio (A), ochem (C), anatomy/physio (A), sociology (A), psychology (C), stats (A), english (A) Should I just retake the pre reqs? Should I fill in some science classes? I think I redid how long it will take me to bring up my GPA to above a 3.0 for both and it's another year of full time classes MAYBE to get a 3.0 I have no shadowing, so planning to shadow a PA (I've shadowed an MD and DO) applying to MA jobs (I was an MA without the certification) targeting schools that emphasize the last 60 units calling/emailing schools to ask if they will take my app if below a 3.0 Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated! I work full time in biotech right now and would love to stay working if possible. I know my GPA is a low point hence me trying to fix it. Thank you!
  15. Hello Everyone, I am needing a little bit of guidance for the upcoming cycle, I will be graduating in May 2019 with a cGPA of 3.1 and a sGPA of a 3.0 as calculated by CASPA right now, I still have two science classes left and a few upper level courses. I know my stats are pretty low due to my freshmen and sophomore year but I do have 8 years experience as a medical assistant in family, internal and urgent care,one year as a scribe and optometrist assistant. (I was considering nursing until I worked as a medical assistant for a PA and the care, modality and aspect of a PA made me change my degree) My concern is if I should even apply this cycle or wait for the following cycle? and maybe consider to do a masters or a post-bacc to help raise my GPA. Any guidance/advice will be helpful and thank you for reading!
  16. Hello y'all! I have been reading and reading everyone's posts and comparing myself to others and decided to finally write one about myself. I have a bachelors degree in Biomedical Sciences with a cumulative GPA of 3.01 and science GPA of 2.75. I have an average GRE score of 300, verbal 148 and quantitative 152, analytical writing 3.0. I played division I soccer all four years of college and ran track for a semester as well. I have roughly 100 volunteer hours, 50 shadowing PA hours, and 2,000+ patient on hand hours. I did poorly in Organic Chem and Microbiology which I have retaken as a non-degree seeking student at a local college and received A's. I have read contradicting opinions and statements about post-bacc work and if the classes I'm retaking are beneficial to my science and cumulative undergraduate GPAs. I have been going back and forth on what I should do next in order to get into PA school. Second bachelor's degree? Masters degree in public health or health administration? Associates degree at community college in EMT? I want to do the most beneficial option that will improve as many aspects of my application as possible in the shortest amount of time (obviously). One more question, when schools say "focus on last 60 credit hours of coursework" is that in reference to the last 60 hours of coursework in undergraduate degree or the last 60 hours of coursework including post bacc and masters? I know a lot of schools solely look at science and undergrad GPA so gaining a masters wouldn't be helpful to those GPAs necessarily. Thank you in advance to anyone who replies and offers some clarity for me! I'm so appreciative!
  17. Please give me any advice you think would be beneficial to augmenting my student/professional record as well as directing me towards a PA program or a particular Allied Health field. What will make me a better candidate? What I’m doing now: Taking prerequisites (at a community college) for PA/Nursing/Allied Health programs (e.g. Human Nutrition, A&P, Medical Terminology, Healthcare Ethics, etc.). I have been thinking about doing an accelerated BSN program, but I am not entirely sure yet. I am considering becoming a CNA next semester to get more experience around nurses to see if I really should apply to an accelerated BSN program or at least get experience for a PA/Allied Health program instead (e.g. occupational therapy, etc.). Problem: I’m unsure what program to apply to and what programs I will be competitive for, mostly because of my GPA and experience. It seems that most programs, A-BSN or Allied Health programs, require at least a 3.0 GPA to get looked at, but overall I’m just above that (see specifics below). I’m not looking to get into the best school, just get into a school that will provide me with a good, accredited, education that will help me enter a career that I will find personally and professionally satisfying. Furthermore, in the last couple of years I developed an autoimmune disease so I am less comfortable with constantly working around infectious/communicable people since I take an immunosuppressant (although I am not worried about working with the infectious diseases in a laboratory setting because I have more control over being aseptic, sterile, etc.). Also, because of the autoimmune disease, I find it is now harder to work a long day (10+ hours) without needing a full day (that feels wasted) of rest to regain my energy. I also recently read a couple of research articles that listed nursing as one of the top professions where people in that career die of autoimmune diseases at a higher rate than other professions. I really like healthcare and biological sciences. The experiences I’ve had within various parts of those fields have really helped me figure out what I find fulfilling within them, leading me to PA/Nursing/Allied Health. Now I just need to find what particular PA/Nursing/Allied Health career will fit with my background and needs. The good news is while I am in my 30s now, I can take my time getting to where I need to be because my spouse and I don’t have children to support. Degrees: University of California (Double major, a little over 10 years ago.) -B.S. Biology with thesis honors (Molecular/Cellular focus.) -B.A. Psychology with honors Social Service Award at Graduation GPAs: -UC Overall GPA: 3.13 -UC Science GPA: 2.81 -UC Non-Science GPA: 3.58 I had a couple of major personal crises that caused me to go from As & Bs to Bs and Cs (with 1 F), which is why my science GPA took a hit. I think I would have to take 8 science classes and get 8 As to raise the Science GPA to 3.0… -Community College GPA: All As so far. Publications: -1 in a science journal -1 in a public health magazine Experience: -Chiropractic Assistant (70% patient care, 30% office work, under this chiropractor the CA duties tended to be more like assistant PT work, helping with a lot of patient active/passive therapies – this is where I learned that I really like working with patients, as well as doing patient education.) -Retail Management -Drug Rehab Behavioral/Mental Health Research Assistant -Microbiology Lab Research Assistant (I like lab work, but I want to know that the lab work I’m doing will be tangibly helpful to someone and I do not want to be grant dependent.) -College Sport Coach -Public Health Organization Intern -Teaching Assistant during undergrad (I learned I really enjoy teaching people science-related topics.) -In high school I did a nursing volunteer/internship (I learned I feel very comfortable in a hospital-environment.)
  18. Hey guys, Im applying to a Master in Health admin program because my Gpa is low but my goal is to become a PA. Should I mention this in my statement of purpose for Health admin program or just tell them I intend to become a health Administrator? Does anyone have experience with this situation or a similar situation? -Thanks in advance
  19. Hello, Has anyone gotten into PA school with a low GPA of 2.5? If so, what schools? Asking for a friend. Please be very kind with responses I understand that's a very low GPA but this friend would really like to get into PA school and he does have direct Patient care hours and shadowing hours.
  20. Hi everyone! I'm new to this forum and I want to ask a question that's been bugging me for a while. I recently graduated with a bachelor's in Neuroscience and Music, and my final GPA is pretty low (cumulative 2.85, science is much lower than that, unfortunately). I went through some incredibly rough times in college, but I've come to terms with the fact that I'll need to retake a bunch of classes (probably at a CUNY or something) to really improve my chances of getting into PA school. I'm determined, I'm way more focused, and I'm not giving up on this dream, so I'll do what it takes! My only concern, though, is how I'll pay for the extra classes. Since I'm currently working part-time, I'm technically not a dependent anymore, so my parents definitely won't be contributing anything. For anyone out there who took classes after graduating, can you tell me how you paid for those classes? Did you use any scholarships, save up money from PCE-related jobs, financed entirely with federal loans, etc.? Thanks in advance! P.S. On a related side note, how many classes did you decide to take a semester? How long did it take for you to finish all of your prerequisites? Thanks again!
  21. I've currently working for a healthcare company in their IT department for the past 6 months and really want to be involved in the clinical side again. Here's a little bit of background:Biology/Business major -gpa: 2.7 (missing a&p I &II and microbiology) -volunteer hours: 1000+ -hce-1000+ -extracurricular: started 2 organizations, held 3 leadership positions in clubs, won awards - shadowed pa's and doctors. - gre: verbal 150, math 152 (plan on retaking for a better score) What should I do to improve my gpa? Should I do a post bacc or a masters program? Right now I'm enrolled in a&p I and microbiology at a community college for this semester 2017. I really wanted to take these classes at a university but it wasn't compatible with my work schedule. Will taking these pre-reqs at a CC hurt my chances? Any help in the right direction will be helpful. Thank you in advance :)
  22. Hello pre-pa, pa students, and pa gradates, I honestly don't know how to start this, but I will get straight to the point. Here is a little about my background. I graduated with honors from high school, first semester of college was okay, I was still learning about how to choose classes and professors as well as how to study. I finished my 1st semester with a 3.2. Second semester I started "pledging" mistake, but I quit and finished my second semester with a 3.0. I decided to take summer classes, two at a time, (big mistake) failed both classes with E's. Long story short Fall of 2011-2012 (4 semesters) I struggled, was on academic probation, etc.. I was going out of my mind. Summer of 2013 I traveled, came back fall of 2013-2016 I maintained 3.0+. But the damage was already done and I just wanted to get out, move on, and have a fresh start. So, Overall Gpa - 2.45 sGpa - no idea I have to retake science classes Now, in Michigan there are a few college's that will allow you to use the last 60 credits of undergrad as well as post-bac to be calculated for the use of admissions to the pa program. My last 60 credits - 2.9 gpa My plan is to take random classes at a community college in order to manipulate my gpa and get at least a 3.8+ as well as take all the pre-req classes and then the gre. I am highly motivated and determined to achieve my dream and goals to attend pa school. I don't care if it takes me another three years, I am determined to do it. How should I plan out my classes? What should I do? Also, I need a minimum of 500-1000 hours of direct patient care (depending on which school) what should I do to achieve those hours? (I used to be a CNA out of high school but my certification expired in 2011) Also, I need better study habits, I'm horrible with multiple-choice exams, what can I do stay focused on the task at hand? I have a beautiful 4 month old daughter and she is my motivator towards achieving this goal of mine. Any advice would help please, I would love to hear success stories in which people that were once in my shoes make it to pa school.
  23. Hello everyone! So I have a BS in Biology (2015) and since then I've been working as a server at a nursing home because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life. I was stuck between becoming a physician or a PA. For a long time I was set on MD/DO but as time went on I realized that it was mostly about the money for me. I grew up poor and that largely impacted my decision. After lots of soul searching and tuning out my family's wishes, I've decided for sure that becoming a PA is what is right for me. Now I have to figure out where to begin and go from here and I need help. So here's a rundown of my current stats: cGPA: 2.97 sGPA: 3.09 (I used the Berkley gpa calculator that supposedly calculates the same way that caspa does, hopefully these are correct) GRE: Haven't taken yet Research: None Volunteering: 62 hours in cancer center and patient transport at a hospital (ongoing), 50 hours as a tutor at a community center, 20 hours at a day care center, and I will be volunteering at a free clinic soon enough. I enjoy serving others and I have a big interest in underserved communities. Direct Patient Care (paid): None. Considering LPN (length of time is a concern), CNA, MA. Shadowing: None with a PA, 8hrs with ER doctor I know I have lots of improving to do. My grades are my number one priority right now. Are post baccs/smps a common thing with pre-pa? If my gpa calculations are correct, around 44 credits of 4.0 work would push me to a 3.1 (cgpa) and around 3.2 (sgpa). Should I look into formal programs? Is LPN worth the time commitment? I am an African American woman and I am not picky with the schools I'll apply to as long as their PANCE pass rate is good to go. SO HALP MEH! Please.
  24. I am currently going into my junior year of undergrad, going for my BS in Chemistry-ACS Certified with a concentration in Biochemistry. My current cGPA is 3.2 and my sGPA is a 3.1. I am obviously hoping to get my GPA up before undergrad is completed. This fall I will be going to get my EMT certification. I plan on working full time during the summer with 12-hr shifts on the weekends during the school year. I was thinking of taking a year off after undergrad to accumulate more hours to stand out more due to a low GPA. My question is how much does PA schools value volunteer hours? My twin brother is Safety Management Major who would be a way better PA school applicant than me 3.9 GPA and 750+ hrs as an EMT before junior year of undergrad. He is also a volunteer firefighter and has certifications in HAZMAT and Firefighter I. He found a live in program by our school that pays for his room and board for 24 hrs a week volunteer to the department, 2 shifts as a firefighter, 1 as an EMT. If I would become a volunteer firefighter, get my certifications, and do the live in program my senior year, how well would that stand out in the application?
  25. Hello everyone, I've come here to seek some guidance/feedback about my current situation. I'm 30 years old, I graduated in 2007 with a BS in Health Science with a concentration in Nuclear Medicine from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. I went on to finish Nuclear Medicine School in 2008. From then on I've been working as a Nuclear Medicine Tech in the radiology department of various hospitals. Back in 2010-2011 I decided that I wanted to do more, I felt like I was missing out. I decided to pursue a career as a Physician Assistant. I was very worried because at the time my undergrad GPA was a 2.96 but my family, friends, and colleagues all told me that I should really try, that I'd make a great PA. My first 2.5 years of college were less than stellar. I've never failed a class but I've had my fair share of C's. You can clearly see an upward trend from my junior year on. I had a C- in Gen. Chem 2, and my Chem grades are over 10 years old, so I retook chemistry as well as various other major science courses. All of my post-bac courses I've taken have all been A's except for a B in Genetics. (Chem 1 & 2, Anatomy and Physiology 1 & 2, Organic Chem, Abnormal Psychology, and Microbiology all A's) My GPA went up to a 3.07 according to my last CASPA app. I don't recall what my science GPA is but I will find out and edit this post during the week. Unfortunately CASPA factors in every grade you've ever had, which is disappointing considering I really am not the person I was 12 years ago when I started college. I have thousands of hours of accrued healthcare experience, I have about 160 hours of PA shadowing time which I planned to expand on since I wasn't accepted to any schools. Not even an interview. :( One of the schools I applied to that actually took the time to break down my application piece by piece said I had a very strong narrative, and recommendations, that my GPA is what is really hurting me and that the rest of my app was very strong. At this point I don't know what else to do. Should I just give up? I have so many accumulated credits that taking more classes to increase my GPA would take so much time and money I could probably do a masters in something else. Am I applying to the wrong schools? I really don't want to give up on this. This is something I really want. I feel confident that if I a program would just give me the opportunity to have an interview, they would clearly see how passionate and determined I am about pursuing this . My GPA has been a stone wall, and it has become very discouraging.
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